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Q: By present standards your power specs are lower than some of your competitors. Are the specs based on RMS vs peak ratings? Or is it a limitation of size vs. dissipation?

A: The reason is that we only use one pair of output transistors. The benefit is that distortion no longer is the sum of distortion of several transistors which can be heard as a more transparent, relaxed and fluid presentation. For most applications I find our power more than sufficient since it’s actually higher than specified. I find that amps with massively paralleled transistors often induce listening fatigue which I relate to this matter. Relative to self cooling and max dissipation the amp could easily take far higher power. The IEC65 states that rated output must be delivered for 1 minute, the CEA490A makes it 5 minutes. This might seem short but one has to remember the crest factor. When playing music average power is a minimum of 10dB below rated power. Therefore the rules state that an amp must be capable of delivering a sinus signal for 1 to 5 minutes and a -10dB version for 4 to 5 hours continuously. If you’ve ever been at a party where they played to clipping, you’ll have seen amps shut down because thermal protection kicked in. That’s when self cooling is insufficient. Our amps use no thermal protection because our entire extruded aluminum enclosure acts as heat sink for exceptional cooling. The B-130 can play at full power for a few hours and at -10dB forever. That’s why our products remain cool. It allows the amps to sound less stressful, more relaxed and in control over longer session. That’s our design goal - to make all our gear sound musical and fluid over extended sessions.

Q: The preouts allow for a subwoofer connection but there is no main-in provision to feed a filtered signal back in. This limits subwoofer benefits by not providing high-pass filtering for the mains.

A: If desired we can supply our SAXO board which cuts off the low frequencies in the B-130s power amp. That could be set to 80Hz for example to make the front channels breathe more freely when used with a sub.

Q: What is the difference between the original B-130 integrated amplifier and the new B-130+?

A: All the core qualities of the B-130 remain intact but Densen has worked over all aspects whereby the preamp stage was significantly upgraded for a lower noise floor, the power stage had small but significant upgrades and the control software was updated. Owners of the current B-130 can upgrade to the Plus version for a modest fee.

Mr. Sillesen has tremendous confidence in both the sonic integrity and reliability of his designs. The products are covered by a nearly unprecedented lifetime warranty to the original owner with proof of purchase; plus North American distributor TrueHarmonix further backs the warranty and conditions for their North American clients. As to performance Densen has an ambitious motto: "Life is to short for boring hifi". This demanded to be taken to the test.

The Densen Beat 130+ arrived double boxed with the inner carton of  double thickness. The integrated was bagged in a thick plastic sheet and ensconced between two foam end caps. The Gizmo remote was packaged separately  in an oversized air pouch. The hefty metal wand is rechargeable via 12V wall wart to avoid the hassle of battery replacement and is included in the North American retail price. A power cable is normally included as well. The technologically advanced little combo weighs in at a relatively modest 25 lbs. As a finishing touch a pair of white branded gloves are included.

The front panel is deceptively unpretentious and devoid of the standard array of knobs and dials. Instead it runs 8 smaller push buttons with a central red LED display. These buttons control standby, input selection, volume, status and processor loop (plus optional surround board). The conventional power mains is replaced by a standby function as indicated by two red dots. Out of standby mode the display defaults to source. The on/off computer-style toggle is in the rear since the amp is intended to be powered up 24/7. The remote wand mirrors the front panel functions but is capable of considerably more by acting as system remote for the Densen product family.

The B-130+ is uncluttered without visible screws on the front, top, sides or back. The case uses internally braced and clamped sections of solid 1/8" and ¼" extruded aluminum instead of traditional painted steel. Aluminum eliminates magnetically introduced distortion and reduces the energy storage. The structure also dissipates heat very effectively to eliminate aesthetically compromised heat sinks. The result is vault-like integrity similar to the AcousticBuoy products.

The volume control is a microprocessor controlled attenuator with maximally 2 resistors in the signal path and 0.5dB steps over a range of 100dB. This "secures a very short signal path, the least interference with the signal and virtually no self noise." Volume adjustments telegraph as relay clicks as well as being numerically visible on the display as it ascends or descends the 200 steps. Rear panel accommodations are generous. There are four inputs plus two tape loops and one processor input. There are two preouts and one processor out. The dual gold-plated posts are not of the more familiar eye candy variety but Mr. Sillesen picked them for sound, not street cred. A grounding post is provided as well.

An internal socket accommodates Densen’s DP-03 MM or DP-06 MC board. Another internal socket accommodates Densen’s SAXO electronic crossover to expand to an active system (with the addition of outboard amplification). "With the SAXO the internal power amp can be configured to play either bass, midband or treble and can be ordered with Butterworth or Linkwitz/Riley filter characteristics and 6, 12, 18 or 24dB slopes as well as level adjustments." For those eying a streaming future an onboard DAC based on the B-420 CD Player will shortly be available with 2 coaxial inputs.